Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Cocoa!

Well, another Christmas has come and gone. We had a great time with the family. I think that the highlight of the holiday was my sister's interpretive dance to "The Twelve Days of Christmas." I love my family. In all the Christmas hustle and bustle both my Mom and myself had not yet been to see the lights at Temple Square. So, after a glorious day of doing almost nothing, I headed down to see the fam and take a trip to complete my holiday experience for the year.

The experience was a rather short one. The lights were pretty, but with 18 degree weather and no boyfriend to keep me warm our outing didn't last long. After the lights we had one more stop to make, after all no trip to Salt Lake is complete without a trip to Hatch Family Chocolates. We got in the warm car and as soon as our toes and imaginations had thawed, we started dreaming of pots de creme.

We pulled up to the store and it looked a little dark. I saw a sign that said that the store would be closing early for the holiday week and I feared we were too late. However, I was also determined not to be deterred by a sign and some dim lights. We got out of the car and were greeted by the very artsy and rather handsome fellow who had been standing at the counter. He had four cups of hot chocolate in his hand, which he offered us free of charge. The store was in fact closed. They had sold everything for Christmas, but there were four cups of cocoa left. We gratefully accepted the cocoa and went on our way. It was the most divine cup of hot chocolate I had ever had. I am sure that it was the kind they serve on the Polar Express. You know, the one that tastes like melted chocolate bars? It was perfect timing, just another magical moment in my life.

They happen every now and again, but usually it is at Disneyland; like when we got picked to be in the Disneyland parade, or those crazy moments when we never have to wait in line. This time is happened at Hatch Family and it was just as amazing as being at the Happiest Place on Earth. Thanks Hatch Family!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Growing Up On French Films

So, I have really hip artsy friends who like to watch foreign films. When I see them in my mind they are all very European when they watch these movies, they discuss cinematography and international issues. "My, look at these expansive landscape shots of Eastern Germany." "Oh, how I pity the plight of the lower middle class citizens in Luxembourg, have you heard what they are dealing with currently?" In my mind it is the pinnacle of intelligence and culture. Sure, I feel intelligent and cultured when I watch them as well, but mostly it is just reminiscent, like watching Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

When I was little we watched international films quite a bit. The first R rated film I ever saw was Ran. It is a Japanese version of King Lear that I saw with my family when I was 4. It was ok because it was Japanese, right? We watched French films the most. So, when I was over making chicken last night and heard that my friends had been watching Jean de Florette, I almost melted with fond memories.

I snatched the film last night and relived my childhood in one of the tragic and yet beautiful films I have ever seen. As I was watching it I thought, "Wow, I used to watch cartoons every Saturday morning and French Films at night. Now, don't get the idea that I watched them every night, but this really was how we rolled. I guess it explains a lot (thanks Hali). I am just inherently cultured. I may not be able to comment on the plight of those that live in Luxembourg, but I can certainly hold my own.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Malagasi Chicken

I cooked chicken last night. If my roommates are reading this they are probably thinking, "Gasp! Jennica? Cooking? You amaze me!" It isn't that I can't cook, it is just that I don't. I actually found myself to be quite comfortable with my hand in a bowl of raw eggs. However, I am pretty sure that I am considered a barbarian, or an apostate, daring to live in a Mormon world and not cooking. Whatever, that isn't the point of the story...

Point of the story is that you never know what you will learn when you go for dinner with your friends. First, I learned that sometimes you aren't just invited to dinner to eat,but maybe also to serve. I learned that couscous can be made from wheat or millet. I learned that Corny Collins looks awfully svelte in his straight-cut suit and dances better than everyone else, and that Montreal is a good place to learn French. And oh yes, I also learned how to make malagasi chicken.

We made almost 20 plates of that crazy chicken. When I say crazy, I mean that it is crazy good. The perfect combination of spicy and sweet. The whole night was, in all actuality, a good Samaritan project for the overburdened students who are studying like mad for their finals. Can I tell you how absolutely thrilled I am that I don't have finals? Well, I am. I love not stressing about homework and test. I love not having to stay up late to study and say no to my friends because I "have to do more reading." At the same time, I do miss learning. Yea, even structured learning. I miss being a part of the academic crowd. I guess I am not back in school for a reason though (at this point anyway). You win some, you loose some, no?

To those who are still in school...Happy Finals!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Guitar Hero and Nertz

NIMITZ! Last weekend was probably the most enjoyable weekend I have had in a long time. Friday night we all went to Tagg and Katie's after the most horrific counselor conference dinner ever and I had my first go at Guitar Hero. I like to claim that I am not a video game girl, but I think that if I had video games at my house, I would be so good at them. (and I wouldn't get much sleep) There were more video games Saturday night at Erin's. I suck at 007, but the only other time I have laughed so hard in my life is when we played Nertz and Tagg could never say it correctly. He would always shout "NIMITZ!" It was 2:00 in the morning, Monty Python was on in the back ground and there was sheer chaos at the card table. This is what life is all about, folks.

I guess that what this all boils down to is that I love my co-workers. Who'd have thunk that I would ever be spending my free time with the people that I spend my not free time with? But I do, and I love it.

I love Christmas and I love Eid al Adha (it's tomorrow)

For Hali...who inspired my first post since Halloween
Here goes...
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate, especially the flavored kind. Yum.
2. Does Santa wrap the presents or just sit them under the tree? Both. Variety is the spice of life.
3. Red or white lights? Who has red lights? That is ridiculous. It would make it like the red light district.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? We had this ghetto plastic sprig of mistletoe in our house when I was younger, I could sure use it now...
5. When do you put your decorations up? The second the turkey carcass is in the trash.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? My mom's stuffing, and her Christmas pudding.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Our front room was massive with vaulted ceilings. One night before Christmas we would drag our blankets downstairs and sleep under the tree. The lights from the tree were so soft and they filled the whole room. It was like being under extra blankets. I loved that feeling.
8. Most memorable Christmas? When it snowed for 2 seconds in San Jose and we ran outside in our shorts and danced around, the year my Grandfather passed away and we found out right after opening our presents, our first welfare Christmas when we got canned garbanzo beans and used toys, the year my mom and brother went on a cruise and we celebrated with just the kids! Christmas on the mission when I got 3 surprise packages from a family in Utah that just loved sister missionaries. I love Christmas.
9. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? It happened gradually. First I asked my mom if the Easter Bunny and Tooth fairy were real. I told her I wanted to know about them, but not Santa Claus. I held on as long as I could.
10. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Just one. It stinks if you open one that is no fun.
11. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With absolutely everything we can find in our Christmas boxes.
12. Snow: I wish I could wake up on Christmas and be snowed in.
13. Can you ice skate? Yup, I used to go with the girl scouts every year.
14. Do you remember your favorite gift? My Dad made a play kitchen for me and my sisters. It was pretty much amazing.
15. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? On Christmas Eve and Christmas morning nothing is wrong in the world. I treasure those few hours.
16. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Chocolate crinkle cookies, for sentimental purposes.
17. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Under-the-tree-gifts. We used to get locked in our room until everything was ready Christmas morning, so we gave each other gifts that we could open while we were waiting. We were 3 girls under 10, so mostly we just re-gifted stuff we hadn't used for a while or didn't want anymore. We still do it, but now we give dollar store gifts.
18. Which do you like best giving or receiving? Giving, there is nothing better than checking off someone else's Christmas list.
19. Christmas Song? Baby It's Cold Outside
20. Do you like candy canes? In my hot chocolate and to look at.